Young man who was accidentally invited to ‘grandma’s Thanksgiving’ as a teen keeps tradition going


After an accidental Thanksgiving invite in 2016 introduced Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench, they are still going strong.

The two first met in 2016 when Dench, from Mesa, Arizona, sent a text inviting Hinton over for dinner.

It was meant for her grandson, who had changed his phone number.

Instead, Hinton got the message while sitting in class at high school.

The two figured out the mistake, then sent selfies to each other, with Hinton asking if he could still come over.

Dench texted, “Of course you can. That’s what grandmas do … feed everyone.”

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Hinton took to Twitter to tell followers that the two are still celebrating the day together.

“We are all set for year 6!” he wrote, alongside a picture of a text message from Dench inviting him, his girlfriend Mikaela and his family over.

He also included a photo of himself, Dench, Mikaela and Dench’s late husband Lonnie, who died in April 2020 after a battle with COVID-19.

The two couples, before Lonnie’s death.
The two couples, before Lonnie’s death. Credit: @Jamalhinton12/Twitter
Thanksgiving 2020.
Thanksgiving 2020. Credit: @wandadench/Twitter

Hinton has documented the holiday each year on his social media.

In 2019, he shared a snap, writing, “Blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives.”

After Dench’s husband died, they still spent the holiday together.

The pair’s first interaction.
The pair’s first interaction. Credit: Twitter
Despite getting the number wrong, Wanda happily welcomed Jamal into her home.
Despite getting the number wrong, Wanda happily welcomed Jamal into her home. Credit: Twitter

“This Thanksgiving, along with all the holidays coming up, aren’t going to be the same as past ones but we will make the best of it,” Hinton wrote in a post last year.

“Rest In Peace to Lonnie and everyone else we lost this year we will miss you greatly. Thank you for being in our lives.”


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